November 14, 2016

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) The first cricket test between New Zealand and Pakistan will begin on schedule Thursday after engineers declared Christchurch's Hagley Oval safe after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand early Monday.

The New Zealand and Pakistan teams have arrived in Christchurch and New Zealand Cricket said the match will proceed. The quake was felt strongly in Christchurch but Hagley Oval is undamaged.

The Pakistan squad was in Nelson at the top of the South Island when the quake struck and coach Mickey Arthur said the experience was ''pretty scary, it really was. We were on the seventh floor of the hotel and it was pretty scary.''

New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry believes the test is well-timed, saying cricket ''always brings a community together. For a brief moment you can get back to a bit of normality.''

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